Saturday, 15 June 2013

My Top 11 Favourite Things To Do

I thought it would be interesting to write a blog post listing my favourite things to do... and I do apologize if I got a song from the sound of music stuck in your head.

A rather nippy Golf GTI that I once owned.
Okay... let me start by getting the obvious things out of the way... my favourite things are obviously everything pertaining to my wife, but I'm sure no-one wants to hear about that, except her.  Then there's eating chocolate, illegal street racing and cocaine snorting... what?  No, I don't do such things!  Or do I?  Ah, the pounding beat of my heart as my nervous, slightly shaky fingers grip tightly on the black, leather, sports steering wheel and the surge of adrenaline as the light turns green, the roar of the engine, the explosion of nitrous oxide, the danger, the thrill of outrunning the cops and the big smile and ego boost as I win the race.  Nope, not me.  Or is it?

Moving along...

I do have more than 11 favourite things to do, so let me squeeze in some things I enjoy that didn't quite make the list:  Playing guitar, playing tennis, camping, hiking and having a braai.  Here's me, playing a classical piece, Pachelbel's Canon in D Major (or perhaps a rock version thereof :)):

#11. Reading.

I haven't found many fiction books that I enjoy, but there are some non-fiction books that I absolutely love.  I particularly like reading autobiographies of interesting people, e.g. Derren Brown, Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen & Richard Branson.

My all time favourite book is called "Software for your Brain."  I find it highly annoying that I only know of one other person that's actually read it, because I think it's the most important book that I have ever read and I think that everyone should read it, or at least one other book that teaches critical thinking.  One can download an electronic copy for free.
Raymond enjoying the gaming setup I made in 2006.

#10. Playing computer games.

On the right is a gaming setup that I built back in 2006.  I used real car seats which I bought for very little and covered them to make them look good.  The desk has many features including bits that slide in and out, and swing around, lights, switches and a fan to keep me cool in summer.  In the top of my PC case you can just about see my old VR headset, an amazing device for playing Doom 3 in the dark (really scary).

My favourite games are racing games, e.g. Need for Speed Most Wanted, where one sometimes has to try and escape from the police.  I also love Civilization IV, a turn based strategy game, which I can easily spend an entire day playing.  I've recently discovered Skyrim, a role playing game set in a beautiful, extremely detailed world.

I'm saving up for the release of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, a new VR headset, which is supposed to be pretty amazing.

#9. Sharing my opinion on irrationality.
A fiction novel I wrote between 2006 & 2010.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing so much is because there is so much irrational thinking that I feel the need to share my views on.  You may think that everyone has their own view on subjects and that my opinion doesn't really matter, however, my opinion is more about using tried and tested methods of determining truth.

My first Fiction novel, The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination, although sometimes humorous, included some of my views on serious, controversial subjects.

I could enjoy spending many hours on an ex-Jehovah's Witness forum, reading the thoughts of people, once convinced by a group that made thirteen failed prophecies about the end of the world, who eventually woke up and came back to reality.

#8. Skateboarding.

At the age of eleven I got my first skateboard.  I wasn't too keen on competitive team sports, because I was never very good at them and hardly ever got the ball.

#7. Making things, especially with wood.

I enjoy all sorts of creative endeavors, including, but not limited to, writing, video making and programming.

My favourite, however, is building real things with my hands.  I love the feeling of cutting through wood and sanding it.  After I've painted or varnished it, I feel proud of the quality thing that I've made.

#6. Self hypnosis.

I never really talk about this to anyone, because I'd feel a bit embarrassed telling people that I do something a bit strange, but here I go.

I don't know if listening to self hypnosis mp3's has much of a long term effect on me, but I can tell you this for sure:  While I listen I feel amazing.  I feel incredibly relaxed, which is a bit difficult to describe, because if you've never tried self hypnosis, you probably can't imagine what it's like to be so relaxed.

The quality of self hypnosis mp3's varies quite a lot, and some of them are even really dodgy, claiming to have cures for cancer or being short or whatever.  The best ones that I've come across (By Barrie St John) are a bit expensive at £8 for an mp3, but it's definitely worth spending to give it a try.

#5. Magic.

When I was very young my great uncle, Louis Fourie, used to show us magic tricks and talk to us with a ventriloquist doll named Charlie.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The best show I've ever been to was Derren Brown.  He's quite funny live, but most important of all, his tricks are simply genius.  I know how many tricks are done, but many of Derren's still baffle me.

I also like doing tricks.  Card tricks are particularly good because they usually require a lot of skill or practise, rather than being simple gimmicks.

#4. Playing board games.

I'm not particularly good at holding a conversation, especially with more than one person, so I much prefer activity based socializing at someone's house to going to the pub.

Many people think that Monopoly takes too long, but I'd be quite happy to spend a few hours playing Monopoly in good company (Although, if you play against me, the game probably won't last that long.)  The alternative is Monopoly deal, a card game which is similar to the board game, but only lasts about twenty minutes.

Other board games I like are Pictionary, 30 Seconds, Articulate, Carcassonne, Balderdash and Cluedo.

#3. Watching 3D movies.

I love movies in general, especially science fiction, but watching 3D movies on an IMAX screen is just beyond amazing.  My favourite 3D movies so far have been The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled, Oz the Great and Powerful and Avatar.
Jacques and me at the Reading Festival.

#2. Going to see my favourite bands with my best friends.

Some of the best bands that I've seen live are The Offspring, Green Day, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, Sepultura and The Prodigy.

Ryan (left), Raymond (right), me (centre)

#1. Playing drums in a rock band with my friends.

While my main instrument is the electric guitar, there's nothing better than beating the crap out of a real drum kit to fast, energetic, loud music with great friends.

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